NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Consol Energy (CNX) shares are up 1.77% to $35.58 in early market trading on Thursday after the coal and natural gas company announced that it was preparing to spin off some of its coal operations.
The company said that its board of directors authorized it to pursue the formation of a master limited partnership (MLP) for its thermal coal business. The MLP would own interests in several of the company's Pennsylvania-based mining operations including the Bailey Mine, Enlow Fork Mine and Harvey Mine.
The company plans to commence its initial public offering of the MLP in mid-2015, after which Consol Energy will own the general partner, the incentive distribution rights and a majority of the limited partner interest in the MLP.
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Separately, the company also announced plans for a two-year $250 million stock repurchase program.
TheStreet Ratings team rates CONSOL ENERGY INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate CONSOL ENERGY INC (CNX) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall."